Carboxydotrophy potential of uncultivated Hydrothermarchaeota from the subseafloor crustal biosphere.
- Author(s): Carr, Stephanie A;
- Jungbluth, Sean P;
- Eloe-Fadrosh, Emiley A;
- Stepanauskas, Ramunas;
- Woyke, Tanja;
- Rappé, Michael S;
- Orcutt, Beth N
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0352-9
The exploration of Earth's terrestrial subsurface biosphere has led to the discovery of several new archaeal lineages of evolutionary significance. Similarly, the deep subseafloor crustal biosphere also harbors many unique, uncultured archaeal taxa, including those belonging to Candidatus Hydrothermarchaeota, formerly known as Marine Benthic Group-E. Recently, Hydrothermarchaeota was identified as an abundant lineage of Juan de Fuca Ridge flank crustal fluids, suggesting its adaptation to this extreme environment. Through the investigation of single-cell and metagenome-assembled genomes, we provide insight into the lineage's evolutionary history and metabolic potential. Phylogenomic analysis reveals the Hydrothermarchaeota to be an early-branching archaeal phylum, branching between the superphylum DPANN, Euryarchaeota, and Asgard lineages. Hydrothermarchaeota genomes suggest a potential for dissimilative and assimilative carbon monoxide oxidation (carboxydotrophy), as well as sulfate and nitrate reduction. There is also a prevalence of chemotaxis and motility genes, indicating adaptive strategies for this nutrient-limited fluid-rock environment. These findings provide the first genomic interpretations of the Hydrothermarchaeota phylum and highlight the anoxic, hot, deep marine crustal biosphere as an important habitat for understanding the evolution of early life.